Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blurb Blitz Tour and Giveaway - Wish by Grier Cooper

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

I hold the barre lightly with my left hand and begin moving when the music starts. It’s the same music I’ve heard in every ballet class I’ve taken for the past ten years. We always start with pliés.

My knees bend in time to the music: demi plié, demi plié, grand plié. My body moves through the positions while my mind replays the scene in the car. The image of my mother’s uvula is stuck in my brain.

“Indigo, where is your focus this morning?” Miss Roberta’s voice pulls me back into the present moment. I glance in front of me at Marlene’s feet and realize I’m in the wrong position. I shake my head to clear it. Go away, Mom. This is the one place where I get away from you – even if it’s only for an hour and a half.

Compared to the rest of my life, ballet classes are refreshingly orderly and predictable. Barre exercises always follow the same routine. Do everything that works the right leg, then turn and repeat everything with the left.

We move through the barre exercises. Every beat of the music dictates what comes next. The rhythm makes demands and the body answers with precision. Already my muscles are beginning to feel warm and stretchy.

“Monique, your leg does not end at your ankle. Point those toes! Jeanine, you’re sagging. Stand up straight!” Miss Roberta’s voice carries through the room. Today she’s all in pinks with a floral chiffon headscarf. She’s the classic tiny dancer: dark-haired with pert features. Her eyes flicker across the class, constantly appraising technique and posture. Even though she’s tiny, she commands the room. If she sees imperfections or lack of good effort, she will call you out.

About the Author

Grier Cooper (also known as the writer in a dancer's body) is a California based writer, photographer, and dancer. She received her professional training from the School of American Ballet and performed worldwide with the San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Today she lives in a seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard poodle). She draws on over thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer to create stories and art to inspire others.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

SBB_TourBanner_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeen copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeenFollowing in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

Enjoy the excerpt:

Date: December 2
Dear Diary,

I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.

I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.

Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?

I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.

Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.

MediaKit_AuthorImage_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeenAbout the Author: I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web. In particular,,, on Facebook at Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Psychologist & Author, on Pinterest and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Broken Dreams by Nancy Pennick

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A $20 Amazon/BN GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn participant. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two friends...

Blood sisters till the end...

Until they're not.

One cold night in a boarding school dorm, two fourteen-year-old girls make a blood sister pact. Friends forever. As young schoolgirls, they're determined to find true love, learning the hits and misses along the way. As graduation nears, the girls have different outlooks for the future. Lucinda longs for adventure. Anna chooses city life and marriage. Finding their way back together, the girls head west for an experience of a lifetime until a handsome cowboy bursts into their lives, changing the course of their friendship forever.

Read an excerpt:

Anna tentatively put the other foot on the ice. “I’m doing it!” She grinned widely for a second until her body slipped out from under her.

“Anna!” Lucinda grabbed for her, but it was too late. Anna lay a few feet away from the boy who still struggled to get on his feet. “Come on.” Lucinda seized Anna by one arm and the boy by the other and marched them to a bench. “Watch and learn.” She daintily walked away on her skates and slipped slowly back onto the ice. She caught up with her sister. Arm in arm they disappeared into the crowd.

“Hello, I don’t think we formally met.” The young man stuck out his hand. “James Trent.”

“Anna. Anna Douglass.” She shook his gloved hand. He had a nice smile, auburn hair and golden brown eyes. A few freckles were sprinkled across his nose.

James smoothed his hair back and replaced the cap he probably lost during the fall. “I’m a sophomore over at Lake Forest.”

“This is my first year at Ferry.” Anna gazed down at the snowy ground, suddenly nervous.“First time on skates?” He laughed and snorted at the same time.

Anna relaxed and looked him in the eye. She saw a faint redness creep up his neck and knew he was embarrassed. “You couldn’t tell?” She giggled, hoping he noticed she forgave the snort.“Well, I’m not giving up. I hope you won’t either. What I mean is I hope I see you here again.”

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Nancy currently resides in Mentor, Ohio with her husband and son, plus a delightfully entertaining lovebird. Her writing is influenced by all the years of working with young people as a teacher and raising her own son. When not writing, Nancy loves to travel with her husband and enjoys a good cup of tea. Broken Dreams is a stand alone companion piece to her young adult Waiting for Dusk series.

Publisher- Fire and Ice
Links to me:
Twitter- @npennick
Facebook Fan page -
Wordpress blog-
Amazon Author Page-
Goodreads -
Links to other books:
Waiting for Dusk
Call of the Canyon
Stealing Time
FREE short story: Taking Chances: A Waiting for Dusk Story

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: The Girl of the Book by Princila Murrell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Princila will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Twelve year old Courtney Parker is devastated to have to leave her friends and South Africa behind when her father accepts a lucrative contract and the family relocate to Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah feels like a different planet to Johannesburg. In spite of her initial reluctance to venture out of the comfort and security of their new home, she quickly forms friendships with Nizar Bukhari and Lana Alahmadi. However, not everyone is happy with the situation.

Courtney must learn to adapt to an alien, seemingly unforgiving culture and stand up to the bullies that are making her school life hell.

Nizar and Lana must both try to overcome their family prejudices in order for their friendship with Courtney to survive. Will they succeed? Will they be able to set aside their differences? Can they bridge the cultural divide?

"Girl of the Book" is a compelling, contemporary story that will get older children thinking. More than that, it is a story of friendship and forgiveness that will tug at your heart.

My Review:

This middle-grade book does not have a lot of excitement, dragons, or fantastical creatures. It does, however, share the story of a girl, much like the kids who would be reading this book, who moves with her family to a completely foreign country and culture.

Even being older than the girl in the story, I enjoyed reading about what she had to go through-- the culture shock she experienced. From living in a country where she could wear shorts and bikinis and being thrust into a land where she couldn't leave the house unless she was completely covered to attending an all-girls school she had a lot to get used to.

And, just like other kids I know, she didn't always handle it well.

The book is easy to read and I enjoyed getting to know Courtney and the two friends she made: Lana and Nizar. They, also, had to contend with pressures from their families who were not excited about their kids being friends with a Christian.

This book is good for all ages and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

4 stars!

An Excerpt:
The class was quiet when she left. I noticed the girls were glancing at me and whenever their eyes met mine, they shifted their gaze.

One of them, a wide-eyed girl, finally spoke. ‘Where are you from?’

‘Are you American?’ another girl asked before I had time to answer.

‘No, I’m from South Africa,’ I replied, trying not to sound bothered by their curious looks.

‘No way!’ one of the girls to my right exclaimed. She had a brown abaya decorated with sequins on the front, and a matching scarf hung around her neck. Her skin was fair, just like mine. Her hair was a pale brown, and it hung in beautiful curls that seemed to spring whenever she moved her head. ‘You can’t be African. You’re white...’

‘You’re also white,’ I remarked.

I was referring to her alone because her skin was lighter than those of the other girls. But she probably misunderstood me because she said, ‘We’re not white. We’re brown.’ She pulled the sleeve of her abaya up her arm and stroked her skin, as if to emphasise her point. ‘Arabs are brown. Africans are black and you’re not. So where are you from?’

‘I’m from South Africa. There are white and black people in South Africa if you didn’t know,’ I said, a little angry.

‘Fine, fine. So are you Muslim?’ the girl in the brown abaya said.


They gasped as if I had said an abomination.

‘You’re not?’ One girl spoke for the first time. She had long straight hair, and her skin was a little darker than those of the other girls. ‘You don’t pray?’

‘What do you mean by I ‘don’t pray’?’ I asked. ‘I pray every day before meals and when I go to bed.’

‘No, not that kind of prayer,’ the wide-eyed girl said. ‘We mean salat.’

‘Salat? What’s that?’ I asked.

‘Prayer, stupido.’ The girl in the brown abaya rolled her eyes.

‘Now, look...’ I was about to say when Ms Lopez walked into the classroom. I glared at the girl in the brown abaya. Whatever her name was, I hoped we weren’t going to be in the same class.

About the Author:
Princila Murrell lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with her husband and two kids. She startedwriting when she was about 10 years old and made the leap to Indie author about two decades later because she could not wait to share her stories with the world. Besides being a nerdy dreamer, doodler, busy mum, and housewife, she is also an avid netizen and reader of children’s books. She loves to cook, shop and, most of all, play with her kids. Girl of the Book is Princila’s debut novel.

Author Links
Amazon author page:
My blog:
Twitter (@PMurell):
Goodreads (Princila Murrell):
Wattpad (PrincilaMurrell):
Facebook (Princila Murrell):
Girl of the Book on Facebook:
Buy Link

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